National Union chairman Bezalel Smotrich has decided to break from Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett and run separately in the upcoming elections in March, Channel 12 News reported.
"Naftali Bennett and I are parting ways," Smotrich said.
Earlier, Smotrich gave an interview with Radio 103FM in which he explained his reasons for splitting from Bennett. "Unfortunately Naftali made a decision again to leave Religious Zionism and go it alone. He went on this adventure in the first round. The result is known, he did not pass the electoral,threshold, threw away almost four seats for the Right and to this day, two years later, we have yet to recover from this mistake. Now he goes out and sniffs the polls again.
This is a pattern: last time he also started with 16 seats and did not pass, and this time he starts with 14. I very much hope for all of us that he will pass the electoral threshold, but we are not waiting. Religious Zionism is alive and kicking. There has been a Religious Zionist party since the establishment of the state and there will continue to be one. It is a party that is the compass and conscience of any government that would be formed."
He also claimed that Bennett was in contact with Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz about a joint run. "There are negotiations with Ganz, unequivocally .. but it's very fitting for the line he's leading that he's going to take on a very important task of rehabilitating the economy. I think that's right and I do not take it lightly, I think he can be an outstanding finance minister and make really dramatic changes in the economy. Our public has a lot of other important issues that we are by no means willing to put aside. We are in the end an ideological party with a path, with values, with a mission."
"Bennett did not offer me a seat because we did not meet for a moment to talk about seats," he clamed. "We did not have a dialogue about spots, we have been trying for weeks to hash out the question of where the party is headed, what it is committed to, what it wants to promote, and in any case the important matter of which government it is striving to form. If you want to fix the justice system, if you want to take responsibility for Jewish identity and education, this is not done with Yair Lapid, Huldai or Avigdor Liberman."